Chicago P.D.'s Intelligence Unit is primed for a big shake-up.
In the wake of the upcoming departure of Antonio (Jon Seda), who will exit the series in November to join forthcoming spinoff Chicago Justice as a series regular, his spot on the Intelligence team won't stay open for long.
"It's going to be filled by somebody, but we're not going to add any characters to the show," executive producer Michael Brandt tells The Hollywood Reporter.
That leaves two potential suspects: beat cops Burgess (Marina Squerciati) and her new partner, Tay (Li Jun Li), with the former looking like the best bet. While Li is currently on the show in a recurring capacity, Squerciati has been a series regular since day one. In season one, she was partnered with Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins) before he was promoted up to Intelligence.
Burgess has also provided backup on several major Intelligence investigations, most recently helping track down Platt (Amy Morton) when the desk sergeant came close to killing the man who murdered her father.
Burgess has not made her ambitions a secret either. Although she was passed over for a promotion in season one in favor of Atwater, Voight (Jason Beghe) later offered her a spot on Intelligence, which she turned down. One issue was her romantic relationship with Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger). However, that ended in the second half of last season.
"Burgess definitely deserves to move up to Intelligence and that would be a natural move," Brandt says.
News of Seda's move broke two weeks ago in a decision that originally began with executive producer Dick Wolf. Seda's character, who is also appearing heavily on Fire this season, will segue to his new job as an investigator for the District Attorney's office after the eighth episode of P.D., which also serves as its fall finale.
"It did a couple of things for us," Brandt says. "Jon's character on P.D. had been through a lot personally. He's a single parent, he's got a couple kids, so it made sense for that character to want to take a job that was more settled and conducive to being a parent."
In addition, the move establishes a stronger connection between Justice and Fire, on which Antonio was originally introduced in season one as the brother of paramedic turned firefighter turned paramedic Gabby Dawson (Monica Raymund).
"We can do more organic crossovers with Justice now," Brandt explains. "It was easy for us to do crossovers with Med and P.D. always just because of the nature of what they all did. Justice is more after the fact of what Fire does, of course, so it helps us with crossovers."
Despite having to say goodbye to a longtime series regular, Brandt believes P.D. will benefit from the move as well.
"I think on P.D., creatively, we'd done a lot with Jon's character, we put his character through a lot personally," Brandt says, pointing to storylines such as when Antonio's son was kidnapped in season one and Antonio's subsequent divorce. "So I think it was nice for us to give some more air to the other members of Intelligence on P.D. by removing a body. It also gives us some more screen time for some of the other actors on P.D. It serves a lot of purposes, it all made sense to us."
Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on NBC.